Considering last year's frenzied coverage of Monicagate and then the sniping coverage of the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, one might wonder what has happened to the Great Liberal Media Conspiracy. If the myth is not yet buried, here's another nail for the coffin: A study released in June by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting and the Institute for Public Accuracy--two nonpartisan watchdog groups--found that, once again, conservative think tanks have led the field in media influence during the past year. The venerable Brookings Institution, a more or less centrist outfit, is still the overall leader in media citations. But the next three are the Cato Institute (strongly libertarian), the Heritage Foundation (strongly conservative), and the American Enterprise Institute (center-right). The top four account for about 40 percent of all cites. Overall, right-leaning think tanks accounted for 46 percent of cites, centrist think tanks for 45 percent, and liberal or progressive think tanks (such as the Economic Policy Institute) for a mere 9 percent. ¤
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